Legal Question in Employment Law in Missouri

My employer continues to overlook me for positions that I am qualified for without any consideration. I am the only African American employee. I have inquired about more responsibility and growth. Recently a postion for which I qualified became available and was never posted in-house prior to being offered to another employee for which I have more seniority and experience. I emailed my interest to mgmt. with no response. Do I have any legal grounds?

Asked on 2/23/12, 8:13 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Jonathan D. McDowell McDowell & McDowell, LLC

It seems that you do have legal grounds for employment discrimination based on race/color/national origin.

If you experience some adverse employment action because of one of those reasons, then you would have grounds to file an EEOC charge. With you being the only African-American, it seems that it would be easier to prove racial discrimination. In this case you would have to prove that your being overlooked was because of your race/color/national origin. If things have been said to you about your race, then it will be easier to show that as the reason. WIthout that direct evidence, you will have to prove racial discrimination by circumstantial evidence. You'll have to show from the circumstances, that your employer has ignored you for your race. This second way is much harder to prove, but it can be done.

If the employer has actually not promoted you for reasons other than that (don't have required credentials, etc.) then they can do that.

These employment discrimination cases rest heavily on the facts of the case. You should consult with an employment attorney as soon as you can. There are very strict filing deadlines for both EEOC charges, MHRA complaints, and lawsuits arising from those complaints.

We do employment on both sides and we're in Kansas City if you need any more questions answered.

Hope this helps,


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Answered on 2/25/12, 12:33 pm

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